Monday, October 8, 2012

Invisalign and Eating

During the past four years I've been (cue sarcasm) lucky enough to have developed a tongue thrust in which - particularly at night when I'm clenching my teeth - my tongue presses against my teeth. The result is teeth that have shifted, leaving gaps and spaces that provide a less than perfect smile.

Never mind cosmetics, the fact is that - unless I do something - my teeth will continue to move outward until they eventually fall out. Seriously.

After consulting several orthodontists it was decided that Invisalign was the best choice for my particular issue. I'd spend 10 months straightening my teeth and then wear a retainer-type thing every night. Forever.

Wearing my Invisalign trays.
The process started ten weeks ago, but I've been wearing the trays for only four. The idea is that you wear these trays 22 hours a day - taking them out only to eat and drink. After you eat, you must brush both your teeth and the trays before returning them to your mouth.

This has been a HUGE disruption to my life. I like to spend the mornings sipping coffee. Meals aren't as big a part of my life as is snacking on almonds and berries. All. Day. Long.

Now, every time I want to take a bite or a taste of something the trays must be removed. And it's not an easy process. It takes me a few minutes. Sometimes I have to use a special tool to prod the plastic off my teeth.

Needless to say, I've been taking less bites, sips and tastes. It's not so easy to snack on grapes while driving home from the grocery store, stop for a quick coffee, taste food samples at CostCo or TJ's. I have to be much more mindful of when I eat and where there is a suitable place to brush my teeth after doing so.

I hate it. Nine more months to go.


20 comments:

  1. OMG. I feel so bad for you, but on the other hand a little jealous. I've wanted Invisalign for my ugly bottom teeth for a while now, but it never occurred to me that I would eat less!

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    1. I'll be happy when it's over, I'm sure... Meantime I'm adjusting. Slowly.

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  2. Sounds rough, although those restriction might actually help me lose weight faster :-)
    Not that you need to or anything.

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    1. Many people lose weight during Invisalign treatment. I'd rather not, but I"ll keep you posted.

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  3. It may seem a little difficult to have aligners, but I think it is all worth it. As they say, “no pain, no gain.” In no time your teeth will be aligned and your dental issues will be resolved. One advantage of having aligners is that you can still do most of your normal dental hygiene routine like flossing and brushing. To help ease the pain, file the area to smooth the edges of your aligners. Also, call your dentist to know what should be done in these cases.

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  4. I once had a positioner and know your pain.. now I'm looking at braces or invisalign and can't decide what route I want to take. Thank you for being honest about your experience.

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  5. Gah! I'm on day 8 and I want to stab myself in the eye! Please tell me all this brushing, flossing, sucking saliva from my aligners and not eating after dinner is going to pay off and my teeth will be straight?

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    1. GLAD to know that I'm not the only one sucking saliva all the time! I hear it gets better over time and I hope so. Day4 here!

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  6. I just started wearing mine in Friday.53 weeks to go

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  7. I FEEL YOUR PAIN! I just got mine yesterday and it's seriously taking a toll on me mentally. I knew going into it that the Invisalign was going to interfere with my eating habits but I never thought it was make me feel this depressed. I was with my family yesterday and everyone was snacking throughout the day and going back for seconds at dinner, taking their time eating. White I felt like I had to shovel everything in my mouth as quickly as possible and then brush and floss just to not be able to have anything else. No dessert. No fruit. No nothing :(

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    1. I did a very poor job of wearing my invisilign every day (mostly wore them at night) and because of that I have to start again - not from the beginning, but still. Don't rush through your meals! The recommended wear is 23 hours, but it's not really expected. You'll be doing terrific if you do 20 hours a day - and your stomach will thank you. (Note - I'm not an orthodontist, so you should double check with yours. Give them a call!) I'm with you though. I hate it.

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  8. I can feel you, Cori. I was in your shoes when I had my dental veneers when I was 38. I also experience TMJ (that was one of the crucial dental treatments I ever had). What makes it even harder for me is the sensitivity of my teeth. It really sucks! Good thing, my cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills--Dr. Frey, is expert enough to handle my situation. It was a big relief to have a good dentist that will take good care of your teeth. I admit the whole treatment procedure made me slim, maybe because of the limited foods I am allowed to eat. No burger or pizza, no hard foods; only semi-liquid and easy to chew ones are allowed.

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  9. You don't have any rubber bands to take off when you are eating with those things. It's probably an advantage not to need that kind of stuff. At least there is a time limit—you won't need them forever, but the improved bite will last. dentistrybyoselka.com

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  10. I'm so glad to have found this blog today -- as today is Day 1 for me. I'm already beginning to wonder if I should've taken a vanity hit and just gone with wire braces (like I did in junior high). I've decided that I'm going to break the bank and incorporate the Acceledent thingy into the plan. Apparently, it cuts treatment time 30%-50% which is pretty much priceless to me right now.

    I'm hungry.

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  11. I just got mine done yesterday and all i want is a hand full of almonds! This agonizing pain is depressing me. When will it stop?

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    1. after about 3 days with the tray it doesn't hurt quite so much. After two weeks it feels fine - but then you have to switch to the next one. Good luck. I'm such a bad patient I'm still not done - almost three years in.

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  12. I just got mine done yesterday and all i want is a hand full of almonds! This agonizing pain is depressing me. When will it stop?

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  13. I am on tray 9 of 27 and I hate these things with a passion. I'm starving, it's ruined my social life, and I am aware 24/7 of the thick miserable plastic in my mouth. All I do is chew on them constantly and suck spit! If I have to go one day over my year and a half I will shoot myself. Worst thing ever!!!

    Please do tell, why has it taken you three years? This is not a happy thought, lol.

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  14. Ah... That would do it, they say 22 hours I'm lucky to make 20-21. The only time they are tolerable is when I'm unconscious!! I didn't have a choice, I wanted regular braces, as my teeth suddenly shifted at menopause. But crowns don't take adhesive well, so they suggested the starvation braces, lol.
    Thanks for the post--I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds these distasteful in every sense of the word. peace:)

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